Neel MoudgalNeel Moudgal, 17, was awarded the prize in the national Regeneron Science Talent Search. A senior at Saline High School, he won the top $250,000 award in a prestigious science and math competition.

Neel created a computer model that can predict the structure of RNA molecules using easily accessible data, an invention that could make it easier to diagnose and treat certain diseases. The prize was announced at a gala during Regeneron’s annual awards banquet in Washington, DC.

The existing tools rely on assigning chemical shift values to each atom in a molecule, which is sometimes impossible, according to a release by Regeneron. Moudgal’s model contains a variety of shapes for an RNA molecule based on its atomic structure. He also wrote a review paper on oxygen evolution reaction electrocatalysis for CO2 reduction.

Moudgal is also the captain of the varsity quiz bowl team and a programmer for the robotics team. He is also a teacher’s assistant for special needs children and is a second-degree black belt in Taekwondo.